Don’t talk about religion, they say. Don’t talk about politics, they say. These are no-nos, taboos, conversation killers. Pssh. Whatever. What else is there to talk about? There’s no reason we can’t be honest with each other, is there? Especially on social media. I’m always converting my so-called friends to my complex political and religious views using 140 characters or less.
Last week I wrote a piece about religion and politics and it has turned out to be the most popular post to ever grace this webtronic page of haphazard electro-bemusement. So I got to conTIMplating… What other forbidden topics could I write about that people normally shy away from that would consequently send my readership through the roof? What else are we supposed to remain silent about that would get everybody talking? I came up with a few ideas…
A big one of course, is money. Money is something we’re never supposed to talk about. Okay, that’s not exactly true. We’re not supposed to talk about our own money. It’s okay to talk about other people’s money. Unless you’re a certain presidential candidate. Then you can talk about your own money. A lot.
Abortion is another topic that is to be avoided. And when you do talk about abortion you have to use code words like ‘choice’ or ‘women’s health,’ neither of which have anything to do with abortion but mean abortion. I can tell you from experience that nothing kills polite conversation like an ill-timed abortion joke. And all abortion jokes are ill-timed. On a related note, I haven’t been to one of my wife’s office parties in years.
Nobody talks about sex either: past, present, or future. And that’s probably a good thing. I don’t want to know. You don’t want to know. Nobody wants to know. There are some mental images that are just not meant to be. And homosexuality is totally off limits. Well, kinda. It depends upon where you fall on the political spectrum. The Right hates talking about homosexuality, while the Left can’t stop talking about it. The opposite is true for radical Islam.
And global warming. You can’t talk about global warming. Just kidding; you can talk about global warming. In fact, you can be adamantly resolute about either side of the global warming debate as long as you don’t bring up science. At least that’s what I’ve noticed.
And here’s a BIG no-no for you ladies and Bruce Jenner: your period—you know, IT or THAT, a.k.a. The Girl Flu, Red Moon Rising, Lining the drawers, Carrie at the Prom, or as we call it in our house, Shark Week. You can’t mention anything about your period outside of your closest circle. Other than the ‘ew’ factor, the main reason is that all talk about a woman’s period is predominantly just complaining: heavy, light, spotty, clotty, cramping, damping… Does anyone ever say, “Wow, last week’s menses was simply divine. It was truly magical, like a summer breeze.”? I’ve never heard it. Either way, it’s not up for discussion. In fact, all bodily secretions are downright unmentionable: blood, sweat, mucus, ear wax, bowel movements, etc. One should never come out of the john and announce to the office, “You should have seen the sewer snake I just gave birth to! Talk about clearing out some inventory!” Again, I’m telling you that hindsight is 20/20.
And weight. You can’t talk about weight. Especially if the subject is on the upside of fatty-boomba-lardness. Talking about your own weight is whining and talking about somebody else’s weight is cruel. If you’re at an ideal weight with a great body people consider you a big fat jerk anyway so it doesn’t matter what you have to say about anything.
And operating systems. Android v. Apple is the Catholic v. Protestant debate of the 21st Century and has lead to many an awkward silence, much like before the Thirty Years War. Bottom line: never ask anyone their textual preference.
And Bar-B-Que. Dry/wet, sweet/tangy, honey/smoky, Memphis/Kansas City/St. Louis/Texas/Carolina; there are more options than a CEO’s portfolio and everyone has a favorite. I’ve actually witnessed fist fights over short v. spare. Talking about BBQ more often than not leads to hurt feelings and broken relationships, so we generally just keep quiet and place our order. It is likewise the case with chili, goulash, and whether or not Olive Garden is authentically Italian.
And cats. You cannot talk about cats. Except big cats. Big cats are always cool. But as far as house cats, here’s the Oriental skinny: you either love cats or you hate cats and nobody cares which. Any conversation that moves to cats immediately goes into Smile and Nod mode. You might as well say, “Boy, do I have some cankers!” or “Rap music sure isn’t what it used to be.”
And there are others, of course: abuse, addictions, open seeping wounds, prison records, secret lovers, crossfit, Amway; the list goes on and on, but I think I’ve hit the main ones. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
Now, the only decision I have to make is whether to call next week’s post “Aborted BBQ’d Cats Cause Global Warming” or “Overweight Android Users Have More Sex and Money, Period.”